Stage 4 reading - Main idea

Learning focus

Students identify the main idea using the GIST process with increasingly complex imaginative, persuasive and informative texts.

Syllabus outcome

  • EN4-1A: responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure
  • EN4-2A: effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN4-2B: uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts.

Understanding texts

  • UnT9: identifies the main themes or concepts in moderately complex texts (comprehension); summarises the text identifying key details (comprehension); selects reading/viewing pathways appropriate to reading purpose (scans text for key phrase or close reading for learning) (process)
  • UnT10: synthesises information from a variety of complex texts (comprehension); reads and views moderately complex or some sophisticated texts - see text complexity (comprehension)
  • UnT11: derive a generalisation from abstract ideas in texts; identifies relevant and irrelevant information in texts (process)

NAPLAN item descriptors

The relevant NAPLAN item descriptors are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task outline

Full task descriptions are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task 1: What is a main idea?

Students learn to identify main ideas and supporting ideas in texts (three activities).

Task 2: Identifying main idea in informative texts

Student use the ‘GIST’ process to identify the main idea in information texts (three activities).

Task 3: Deriving a generalisation

Students match a generalisation with its possible evidence (five activities).

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